10-July-2002 -- Vatican Information Service |

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DECLARATION ON PRIESTLY ORDINATION OF CATHOLIC WOMEN

VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2002 (VIS) - Following is a declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which warns seven Catholic women who have received priestly ordination from the hands of the founder of a schismatic community. They are required to comply with certain conditions before July 22 if they do not wish to incur excommunication. The declaration (monitum) is dated today and is signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., prefect and secretary of the dicastery.

"On June 29, 2002, Romulo Antonio Braschi, the founder of a schismatic community, attempted to confer priestly ordination on the following Catholic women: Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Adelinde Theresia Roitinger, Gisela Forster, Iris Müller, Ida Raming, Pia Brunner and Angela White.

"In order to give direction to the consciences of the Catholic faithful and dispel any doubts which may have arisen, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wishes to recall the teaching of the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of Pope John Paul II, which states that 'the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful' (n. 4). For this reason, the above-mentioned 'priestly ordination' constitutes the simulation of a sacrament and is thus invalid and null, as well as constituting a grave offense to the divine constitution of the Church. Furthermore, because the 'ordaining' Bishop belongs to a schismatic community, it is also a serious attack on the unity of the Church. Such an action is an affront to the dignity of women, whose specific role in the Church and society is distinctive and irreplaceable.

"The present Declaration, recalling the preceding statements of the Bishop of Linz and the Episcopal Conference of Austria and in accordance with canon 1347 § 1 of the CIC, gives formal warning to the above-mentioned women that they will incur excommunication reserved to the Holy See if, by July 22, 2002, they do not (1) acknowledge the nullity of the 'orders' they have received from a schismatic Bishop in contradiction to the definitive doctrine of the Church and (2) state their repentance and ask forgiveness for the scandal caused to the faithful."

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